There is no sugar-coating the obvious – Bakersfield drivers are dangerous. Each year sees thousands of traffic accidents in the metropolitan area, and the statistics never seem to improve. With its many car accidents and the serious injuries they cause, the city has earned its unfortunate reputation as one of the most unsafe places in the country in which to drive.
You may recover significant financial compensation if you or a loved one suffered an injury in one of Bakersfield’s many car accidents. First, you must show that the other driver was responsible for your injuries. Proving negligence after a car accident is not about what you know but what you can prove. If you do not have the evidence, you won’t receive financial compensation.
Hire a car accident lawyer right after your Bakersfield car accident to put yourself in the best legal position. It does not cost you anything out of your pocket to get legal help, but it can cost you everything if you wait too long to hire an attorney.
Bakersfield Roads Have Heavy Traffic
Even though Bakersfield is far from the largest city in California, Bakersfield residents spend roughly 65 hours on its highly congested roads each year, the 24th-highest total in the United States.
The figure continues to increase as more workers return to the office after the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the city’s design did not account for the current high population totals. The roads simply cannot accommodate the number of drivers who use them daily as safely as they should.
Bakersfield Drivers Are Among the Most Dangerous in the County
Bakersfield drivers rank among the worst in the country in many metrics. For example, the city is the seventh-worst in the United States for serious pedestrian accidents.
The primary reason Bakersfield roads are so dangerous is the prevalence of alcohol-related crashes. Bakersfield has the fourth-highest rate of alcohol-related fatalities and injuries in the country. In addition, the city has a high rate of speeding-related accidents.
These statistics add up to one shocking fact. Quote Wizard ranks Bakersfield drivers as the absolute worst in the country. Bakersfield drivers lead the way among eight California cities that have earned the dubious distinction of being in the top ten for having the worst drivers. The situation in Bakersfield has only worsened in the past several years, as drivers picked up worse habits during the pandemic.
Many Crashes Happen on Ming Avenue and in the Downtown Area
Overall, the highest number of crashes happen in Downtown Bakersfield and the northeastern part of the city. However, the intersections listed as the most dangerous in the city are in the southwest part of the city.
Ming Avenue is one of the busiest thoroughfares in Bakersfield. Anyone with a business in Bakersfield will travel on or intersect with Ming Avenue. Accordingly, the list of the most dangerous intersections in Bakersfield includes several intersections with Ming Avenue.
The Most Dangerous Intersections in Bakersfield
Here are the most dangerous intersections in Bakersfield, as measured by the number of car accidents:
- Ming Avenue and New Stine Road
- Gosford Road and Ming Avenue
- Real Road and Wilson Road
- 34th Street and Q Street
- Brundage Lane and P Street
- H Street and Ming Avenue
- H Street and Planz Road
- Baker Street and Niles Street
- H Street and Wilson Road
- 4th Street and Union Avenue
Highway 99 Has Its Own Particular Dangers
Many people associate Bakersfield with Highway 99. However, the road is also one of the most dangerous spots in the city. Due to the traffic congestion, there are often multi-car pileups on the road, especially during rush hour.
For example, a fiery crash on Highway 99 in March 2023 took the lives of two people and severely injured several others.
Rush-hour accidents often back up traffic on Highway 99. Many crashes happen when one driver rear-ends the car in front of them. Then, cars behind them that can not stop in time might strike that car.
In general, Highway 99 has poor lighting, and it only has two lanes to carry traffic. Thus, the roadway can become even more dangerous at night.
Bakersfield’s safety situation is only worsening, with the number of serious accidents increasing, even if the number of overall car accidents has not.
You Must Prove Negligence in Every Car Accident Case
No matter where the car accident occurred, your case’s legal rules remain the same. You must prove liability for your accident by presenting evidence of another driver’s negligence. You have the burden of proof to show that the driver acted in a way that another reasonable driver would not have under the circumstances. In most cases, you must prove the other driver’s carelessness.
The Dangers of Intersection Car Accidents
Many of the places that we mentioned as hotspots for Bakersfield car accidents are intersections.
T-bone car accidents are among the most dangerous. In a T-bone crash, the front of one driver’s car hits the broad side of the other driver’s car. If the driver gets hit on the driver’s side of their car, the crash can seriously hurt them. For the other driver, the crash can approximate the force of a head-on accident.
Here are some injuries that you can suffer in an intersection car accident:
- Fractures and broken bones
- Lacerations and contusions
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Neck and back injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Organ damage
- Internal injuries
Here are some common causes of intersection car accidents:
- One driver has failed to yield the right-of-way when they legally needed to by law, such as running a stop sign or a red light.
- The oncoming driver was speeding excessively and struck a driver who thought they had enough time to turn.
- A distracted driver did not see a stop sign or red light.
- The reckless motorist intentionally ran the red light or stop sign.
The Legal Difficulties Associated with Intersection Car Accidents
There are some challenges in an intersection crash, mainly when it occurs at a stop sign. The drivers may each tell a different story. One driver may try to cover up the fact that they were the one who caused the accident. When two drivers say different things, it is called a “truth contest.” You will need to have evidence to break the deadlock and prove your side of the case.
If the accident occurred in an intersection, more sources of proof can show what happened. It will be more apparent which driver ran the red light or was to blame for the crash. If the intersection was busy like those listed above, chances are that multiple witnesses to the accident can testify about what happened. Testimony from an objective third-party witness is the powerful evidence in a car accident case.
Things can be more challenging when the accident occurs at a stop sign or an unsigned intersection. There may have been fewer people around, and you may not have witness testimony demonstrating who had the right of way. You may need to use other forms of evidence, such as testimony from an accident reconstruction expert.
You Need a Car Accident Lawyer Immediately for Your Case
You will need to hire an experienced lawyer right after your car accident, so they can compile the evidence you need for your case. You begin to lose car accident evidence once the authorities clear the accident scene. The longer you wait to get legal help, the harder it will be to prove your side of the story.
If you cannot make the phone call to the lawyer, have a family member do it. Getting prompt legal help is perhaps the critical difference in a car accident case.
Do not wait to hire a lawyer until you have already dealt with the insurance company and are dissatisfied with the results. By then, it may be too late to salvage what might have been a strong case.
How a Car Accident Lawyer Can Help Your Case
Here is what a car accident lawyer can do for your case:
- Investigate your accident and gather evidence that can help prove your car accident case, including identifying and talking to witnesses
- Review your situation to come up with an estimate of damages
- Keep you shielded from the insurance company and their attempts to trip you up or trick you
- Prepare your claim to file with the insurance company or your lawsuit to file in court
- Deal with the insurance company by speaking with them and responding to them
- Negotiate a possible settlement on your behalf after likely evaluating and rejecting multiple low-settlement offers
- Litigate your case in court if the insurance company will not pay you what you deserve
Your Damages in a Bakersfield Car Accident Case
When you can prove liability for your car accident, the responsible driver must pay you for all the damages you have suffered.
Car accident damages include:
- Economic damages that compensate you for the money that you had to pay because of your accident and the money you can not earn due to your injuries
- Non-economic damages account for the experience that you have had and will have in the future. You can be in physical pain or dealing with anxiety and depression. The responsible driver must compensate you for what you endured.
How Much You Pay for a Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer
A Bakersfield car accident lawyer works for you on a contingency basis. You do not have to come up with the money to pay them to get you working on your case. Your lawyer will not ask you for money as long as your case is pending. After your case, they will not even ask you for money for their services.
If you win, your lawyer receives a portion of your settlement or jury award as their fees. The lawyer does not receive payment for their time and services if you do not win. The contingency law system is another reason why it never hurts to call a lawyer right after the car accident.
You can afford a car accident lawyer, so there is no reason not to hire one. Your lawyer will help you get the highest amount of damages possible. Without legal representation, insurance companies will take advantage of you, and you risk making a mistake that can jeopardize your entire claim.
Hire a top-rated Bakersfield personal injury law firm‘s attorney before you ever begin insurance communications. However, it is never too late to hire a car accident lawyer if you already started the process. Call for a consultation today.